Celebrating achievement at the 2019 Nation Builders & Community Recognition Awards luncheon

This year’s Nation Builders & Community Recognition Awards recipients with Her Honour Donna Mirasty and His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan (centre). Seated: Janis Olesko, Edward Diakow, Their Honours, Sonya Jahn (for relative Sandra Semchuk), Ann Obarianyk (wife of the late Alex Obarianyk). Standing: Paul Kodak, Naomi Lee, Miroslaw Ochitwa, Darius Obarianyk (for father Alex Obarianyk), Dennis Melnyk (for father John Melnyk), Aileen Pillipow, Ivanna Knoll. Photograph courtesy of Yuliia Nosulich (2019)

UCC Saskatchewan.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Saskatchewan (UCC Saskatchewan) held its 25th annual Nation Builders & Community Recognition Awards luncheon and awards presentation at the Hotel Saskatchewan in Regina on October 20, 2019. Over 200 friends, family and guests from across Canada gathered on Treaty 4 Territory to recognize the outstanding achievements and meritorious contributions of some of this province’s notable citizens.

Three individuals were recognized as Nation Builders this year: Dr. John Kuspira (Phone Hill-Edmonton, AB), Edward Ratushny (Kamsack-Ottawa, ON), and Sandra Semchuk (Meadow Lake-Vancouver). The Nation Builders Award is bestowed to persons who have made meritorious contributions, which have had a significant impact; left a legacy; and/or provided an exemplary role model to the Ukrainian community and/or Saskatchewan-Canada.

Community Recognitions Awards were presented to nine individuals: Edward Diakow (Dobrowody District) and Alexander Obarianyk (Secretan-Regina) for Cultural Preservation & Development; Naomi Lee (Weirdale-Regina) and Miroslaw Ochitwa (Norquay-Canora) for Volunteerism; John Melnyk (Myrnam, AB-Regina ), Janis Olesko (Prince Albert) and Aileen Pillipow (Yorkton-Regina) for Leadership; and, Ivanna Knoll (Regina) and Paul Kodak (Saskatoon) for Youth Achievement. Community Recognition Awards are presented to persons who have made meritorious contributions in one or more of the areas of youth achievement; leadership; volunteerism; cultural preservation & development, and/or creativity & innovation to the Ukrainian community and/or Saskatchewan-Canada.

After welcoming remarks by UCC Saskatchewan President John Denysek, the following dignitaries brought greetings: His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan; Muhammad Fiaz, MLA for Regina Pasqua, Government of Saskatchewan; Consul General Oleksandr Danyleiko, Consulate General of Ukraine, Edmonton; Mayor Michael Fougere, City of Regina; and, Calvin Racette, SaskCulture. Prayers were offered by Most Reverend Bishop Bryan Bayda, CSsR, Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon, and Reverend Father Volodymyr Feskiv, Descent of the Holy Spirit Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Regina. The Honourable Ralph Goodale and the Honourable A. Raynell Andreychuk were also acknowledged.

The Nation Builders & Community Recognition Awards Luncheon and Presentation was held this year with thanks to our Diamond Sponsors: the Ukrainian Society of Prosvita – Regina, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Regina Branch, and the Veselka Prince Albert & District Ukrainian Cultural & Heritage Association. UCC Saskatchewan also acknowledges the important financial support it receives from SaskCulture and SaskLotteries, as well as from generous donors in the community.

The Board of UCC Saskatchewan is deeply grateful for the hard work of the volunteer members of the Recognitions Committee: Lissa Gruza (Chair), Jerry Corbett, Martin Hryniuk, Shawna Kozun, and Ken Mazur. The Board is equally appreciative of Regina host community organizers Orest Warnyca, Kelly Lato, Ken Mazur and Terry Zwarych for important coordination contributions towards this year’s event.

A special thank-you goes to: emcee Elena Krueger; citation reader Sofiya Zdolyny; Hospodar and Hospodynia Terry & Oksanna Zwarych; awards luncheon volunteers Luba Krupina, Karen Kuzyk, Terry Kuzyk; ushers Cassidy Lamb and Damon Neskar of the Tavria Ukrainian Folk Dance Ensemble and Samantha Carnie and Vlad Akulov of the Chaban Ukrainian Dance Association; violinist/accordionist Curtis Ficor; and, photographer Yuliia Nosulich.

From its inception in 1995, the Nation Builders & Community Recognition Awards project has honoured 266 individuals (165 NBA, 101 CRA) plus two Newsmaker of the Year Awards.

UCC of Saskatchewan is a provincial organization that provides programs and services for the Saskatchewan community to maintain, develop and share its Ukrainian Canadian identity and aspirations.